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Defensive supply: Pair of goals lift Inter Milan over Benevento

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Milan Skriniar and Andrea Ranocchia head home Nerazzurri against Benevento.

FC Internazionale v Benevento Calcio - Serie A
Milan Skriniar (L) of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates with his team-mate Roberto Gagliardini after scoring the opening goal during the serie A match between FC Internazionale and Benevento Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 24, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

For the first 66 minutes of the game with Benevento, Inter fans likely had thoughts of their team struggling against the club sitting in Serie A’s cellar and wondered just what happened.

Luckily, a header from Milan Skriniar in the 66th minute followed by a delivery from Andrea Ranocchia three minutes later saw the Nerazzurri to their second win in 11 matches.

The win temporarily moved Inter into third in the league with AS Roma still to play AC Milan tomorrow and Lazio to take on Sassuolo. Both Roma and Lazio are within striking distance of Inter and a win from either will see them go ahead of the Nerazzurri in the standings.

But, for now, Inter can celebrate shaking more of the dust off as they rebounded from their 2-0 loss last weekend to Genoa.

The header from Skriniar in the 66th was a thing of beauty after Matias Vecino played in tap into the area off the corner taken by Joao Cancelo.

It was Vecino again who found Ranocchia with a ball crossed into the area that found the top of Ranocchia’s head.

It capped off a night that saw flashes of offensive prowess in the unlikeliest of places: Inter’s defense.

Early in the match it was Benevento — who collected their 13th straight loss away from home — controlling the tempo, but unable to sieze on any of the momentum to test Nerazzurri goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

Inter, on the other hand, struggled to make much of its offense.

Éder did have an opportunity to put Inter up early, but his attempt never really materialized after the ball nicked his feet just before his shot attempt.

Ivan Perisic had his header sail wide of goal after getting a feed in from Cancelo. Andre Coda did give the Inter defense some fits on the counterattack, but his shot sailed wide of Handanovic’s reach and out of play.

Coda again struck just after the start of the second half when Enrico Brignola went half the distance of the field and found Coda with a through-ball that was sent wide of goal in the 61st minute.

After the Inter pair of goals, Benevento lost most of its offensive motivation and didn’t mount a significant challenge after that.

The win for Inter gives the team much needed momentum heading into next Sunday’s Derby della Madonninia with Milan.


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